One could make a right observation and say the desire for donations from rich individuals might lead bad prelates to “adapt” their preaching to the needs and “sensitivities” of those they have targeted as the big spenders of choice.
On the other hand, I have always observed the more rigid an organisation is, the least financial worries it has – the SSPX, the FSSP, the FFI clearly have or had no problems in financing a tumultuous growth -, which to me is a sure sign God tends to rewards orthodoxy with ample means to spread orthodoxy. In contrast, V II religious orders must sell the family silver in order to pay for themselves in their old age, church closures are a well-established trend all over the West, and the V II Church is certainly not financially viable in her present state; which isn't a big concern anyway, firstly because there are very few vocations and secondly because the modern unofficially doctrine of universal salvation makes them useless anyway.
If you ask me, the real matter is not one of financial resources, but of popularity and approval. A bad bishop, or superior of a religious order, will probably always have the money for his own pet projects in his own lifetime. Perhaps he will have to close some churches, but he certainly doesn't care for such irrelevant little matters, does he now…
The modern bishops are not worried about the money they want. They know the money will be forthcoming, at least enough money for their purposes. They are worried about what the world thinks of themselves; how they “blend in” not only in the secular world, but in the Vatican too.
Until they are eighty, they will be worried about advancements in career and popularity. When they have passed eighty, they will be worried about not losing face and masking the catastrophe of their own “pastoral” work.
This is, I think, what motivates them to their bad theology. The money for the Cathedral's roof, the exposition of blasphemous degenerate art, or the new museum will always be there anyway. Therefore, their only choice is whether to be unpopular or popular.
We know what most of them choose.
Among the poisonous comments I receive (you don’t see them, but I do; and they grow with the growth of this blog) there are those of people who are acidic not only with me, but with other bloggers as well. These comments invariably come from people accusing me of not being “charitable”, showing those who love to always have “charity” in their mouth are, as a whole, a rather nasty bunch.
One of those nasty messages recently accused me of not attacking (yes, he accused me of not attacking) a well-known blog, noticeable inter alia for its rather entrepreneurial approach. The relevant blogger would be, I was told, guilty of actually making money out of his own blogging activity. I think two words here are in order.
The little effort you are reading now does not bring any money. But this is not because I am against it. I am, in fact, not against money at all. The simple fact is that firstly the money it would bring would ne negligible; secondly that it would be very difficult – perhaps impossible – to do this whilst preserving anonymity; and thirdly, that I have no intention of making the time investment to learn all the technical details of owning and running my own blog for the very meager income it would bring me. The beauty of WordPress, Blogger and the like is that one can start writing without having to do with any of that stuff, but at the same time – and fairly enough – without getting any of the very limited revenue one’s blog could have generated. On the rare occasions when you see WordPress advertisements on my blog, it has nothing to do with me and I do not see a penny from it. Again, fair enough, and I thank God for the existence of free blog platforms like WordPress and Blogger.
Still, a big blog can certainly be a source of revenue, and this is the point where the Liberation Theologians are divided from the Catholics. Money isn’t dirty; there is no harm at all in earning money in an honest way; actually, being entrepreneurial is good, because it furthers the common good as it helps one’s wallet; it is not for us to question how much money a blogger makes more than how much money an accountant makes; if the blog is very well made, it might even give us the possibility of promoting further Catholic causes (the coffee from the monks, say, or the advertisement from the Catholic university). If, then, the blogger in question becomes a millionaire because of it (not likely), we should see in this a further triumph of Catholicism instead of envying the blog owner.
Why, then, such animosity against people who earn money from a blog? I can see only three reasons:
1. Because they are failures. They aren’t faring well, so no one else is allowed to. If anyone does do well, then he must be wrong, and they think they have the right to be envious, and nasty.
2. Because they are closet socialists, or communists. Money is bad, so you shouldn’t really have anything to do with it. If you do, then as little as possible, and only because we live in an evil world. If you stand out from the crowd with an excellent blog that is also excellently run, then you are targeted as a representative of that most dreadful disease: capitalism.
3. Because 1. and 2. are present at the same time. I think this is the most frequent case.
This could be, obviously, furthered by the wind of “Franciscanism” that has been blowing for a couple of weeks, bringing to us unpleasant whiffs of stinking Liberation Theology and stale pauperism of the Seventies, though I must say the enthusiasms of the “let us all be poor so I do not feel inferior” crowd will have an unpleasant awakening very soon. Still, we must fight against this mentality with all our might.
This, again, from one who invests an awful lot of time and effort without having ever seen a penny from it; confident, as he is, that Padre Pio looks, and perhaps even likes what he sees; and that on that fateful day the Blessed Virgin might well, in Her maternal goodness, add an intercession for him, a wretched sinner, and for those he loves most. Still, make no mistake: if in addition to the hoped heavenly reward I were able to get an earthly one, I would do it. I would do it like a shot. Therefore, never ever consider this blog “better” or “purer” than the ones with the advertisements, because in that case you have rather the wrong concept of what is good, or pure.
“Ah, but you see, Mundabor; some of these bloggers are… priests!”.
Some priests have a vow of poverty, generally when they are also members of a religious congregation. Most priests, to my knowledge, haven’t. Always as far as I know, priest also can, say, inherit a fortune, and the fortune remains theirs. Granted, it is expected from a priest that he keeps a standard of living that refrains from extravagances and inappropriate luxury, but this must be seen in the context of the relevant situation. Popes live in luxury all right, and most bishops and cardinals fare rather well compared to the vast majority of us. This has always been so, and the wisdom of the Church has never found anything to object; unless, of course, the luxury becomes ostentatious, or otherwise inappropriate.
If I trust a priest, ipso facto I trust that his relationship with money is a healthy one. Still, I do not see why I should suspect that he is greedy more than I should suspect that he is, say, a glutton. You read people’s blogs and you form an idea of who they are and how they think. Then you think them decent people (sinner as we all are) or you don’t. It’s as simple as that.
I invite everyone of my readers to salute every Catholic blog showing a sense of healthy entrepreneurial spirit and to consider making their purchases (of books, or coffee, or whatever else) through them. When they click this page, I invite them not to consider me in any way, shape or form “better” because I don’t. My blog is very tiny for monetary considerations, and I would consider anonymity a higher good than even a regular income stream if this blog were big enough for it, which it isn’t.
I am, probably, also not entrepreneurial enough. But this is, most certainly, not a good trait in itself, and I frankly admire those who make an effort even if it brings them a tiny monetary reward.
Let us play a game.
Let’s imagine that you are a famous rock star. Fame, money, girls, the lot. Your ego balloons dangerously. At the same time you have a lot of more or less penniless friends who are now slowly expecting that you do something for them. You would like to of course, but you won’t certainly pay for fake grace and favour jobs for all of them. I mean, even in “Entourage” they are only a handful and when you have a driver, a manager and a cook that’s pretty much it.
But then your ego continues to grow and you are tired of being perceived only as a successful singer. You want to become more than that. You want to be a kind of messiah.
As a third problem, there’s the fact that you want to travel in style without paying, and you want to meet famous people.
And then there’s your agent, who has been saying for years that you need to stay more in the headlines because fame is a cruel mistress. Look at madonna (little m) and Angelina (big…. lips), how many children they adopt and how much popularity it brings them!
You must, then, do something which allows you to:
a) place a lot of friends and friends of the friends (and mistresses, and the like) in well-paid jobs, without costing you a penny;
b) make yourself important at no cost to you;
c) use other people’s money to tell foreign Governments how to use taxpayer’s money.
At the end of the story you will be the idol and they will be the idiots, because the game can be played ad infinitum: you will always be able to say that the West “doesn’t do enough” whilst the crowds adore you and the government will always be interested in getting near you.
This is the killer media magnet. Beats adopting third world children any day.
If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to let it grow up to 120 people (that’s a lot of friends even if you include the friends of the friends and the mistresses) and even make good weather with journalists, which is rather important for a pop icon anyway.
Yup. You must create an advocacy group.